Ex-cop charged in Bean Station incident that killed two

Ex-cop charged in Bean Station incident that killed two and injured two others

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Jason Bryan Holt (Source: Grainger County Sheriff's Office) Jason Bryan Holt (Source: Grainger County Sheriff's Office)
Stephen Lovell (left) with his brother. (Source: Amy Lovell) Stephen Lovell (left) with his brother. (Source: Amy Lovell)
Stephen Lovell (far left) and his family (Source: Todd Gourley Photography) Stephen Lovell (far left) and his family (Source: Todd Gourley Photography)

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

BEAN STATION (WATE) - Official charges have been filed against the former police officer who opened fire at a Bean Station pharmacy, killing the owner and another man, and injuring two women.

According to a police report, Jason Bryan Holt, 37, walked into the Down Home Pharmacy on Highway 25E with a pistol and demanded a large amount of Oxycodone pills.

He then ordered the pharmacy owner, Stephen Lovell, to lock the front door.

After he did so, Lovell, along with Richard Sommerville, Alexia Wilson and Janet Clift, were told to kneel behind the counter.

Holt then shot all four people.

The owner, Stephen Lovell, of Morristown, and Richard Alexander Sommerville, of Bean Station, were killed on the scene.

Alexia Gail Wilson, 45, of Morristown, and Janet Clift, of Rutledge, were airlifted to University of Tennessee Medical Center. They were both in stable condition as of 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Holt fled the scene through the back door and a large amount of narcotics. He was tracked down by officials on Rocky Springs Road and Broadway.

Holt formally charged

Warrants were served against Holt early Friday morning.

District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn said Holt is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of premeditated first-degree murder, two counts of felony murder and one count of especially aggravated robbery.

Dunn said they would consider the death penalty for Holt, but it could take months before a decision is made as to whether he will seek it.

From police officer to police record

Holt has been on both sides of the law.

Bean Station Mayor Terry Wolfe said Holt worked as an officer for the police department from 2002 until early 2004, when he was hired by the Grainger County Sheriff's Office, where he worked for about six months.

According to Wolfe, Holt quit the force because he said the midnight shift didn't coincide with his personal life.

Holt has a police record that includes a dismissed domestic assault charge from 2009 and a burglary and theft charge from 2006. He pled guilty to that charge.

Dunn is requesting that Holt be denied bond.

Holt will be in court May 30 for his arraignment.

Friends and family mourn the loss of a family man

Lovell's brother, Ronnie Lovell, describes his younger brother Steve as a family man, a community leader, and a great friend.

"He was a friend, yes. We fished together. We hunted together. We had a few beers together. It's hard to believe my little brother is gone," he said.

Lovell said pharmacy employee Alexia Wilson was brave and informed the family of the tragedy.

"She picked up the phone and was shot in the face through the neck and called my sister-in-law and told her what happened," Ronnie told 6 News.

He said prescription pill abuse is an epidemic.

"I think the easiest way to get out of the problem is just to take the drug off the market," he said.

Lovell family friend Randy Harville said the senseless crime has rocked the community.

"He already had what he wanted. Now you've got to take four lives. I don't know how you could ever figure that out," said Harville.

He says he'll be here for the victims families and will never forget his neighbor and good friend Steve.

"He's a great dad and very involved with his kids and everything they do at school and Steve was the kind of guy you saw him he had a big smile on his face," Harville said.

Amy Lovell, Steve's sister-in-law, said the support from across the community has been helping her and her husband find the strength to cope.

"I just can't thank people enough for the prayers and the thoughts," she said.

Steve Lovell leaves behind a wife and three young kids.

Amy and Ronnie had a message for him:

"We will be here for you and your children forever."

Bean Station community bands together

The community held a prayer vigil for the victims Friday night. Hundreds gathered and found solace in one another. In attendance were the families of Richard Sommerville and Stephen Lovell. Sommerville's family says he was in the store buying calamine lotion for poison ivy at the time he was shot and killed. They're having a hard time processing the bad timing of it all. Lovell's family says the pharmacy owner was killed in a place that had brought him much joy. They say he was a man who loved his business, and his family. There was music, the group prayed, and lit candles for the victims.

 

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